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    Royal Arch


    The hike is steep--a real stair-stepper workout, but the views are incredible. The trail starts near the Bluebell Shelter and goes up, passing the base of the Third Flatiron. Bears and mountain lions live in the area, so know what to do if you encounter one. You'll be rewarded with views of a massive sandstone arch that frames the city below. It is one of the most popular hikes in the area for a reason.

    Round-trip distance: 3.2 miles

    Directions: from Chautauqua Park at 9th Street and Baseline Road, hike about a half mile uphill to Bluebell shelter, where the trail head for the arch begins. Distance to the arch from Bluebell shelter is 1.1 miles each way, with 900 feet of elevation gain.

    Before your hike, visit the Ranger Cottage at the Chautauqua Trailhead for maps, brochures, friendly advice and educational displays. You can view local animal specimens and touch pelts. There’s also a public restroom and a place to fill your water bottle.

    Hiking Trails
    • Estimated Time: 2-4 hours:
    • Difficulty: Advanced:
    • Dogs Allowed (on leash):
    • Free Parking:
    • Parking Fee:
    • Restrooms:
    • Distance: 3.2 miles
    • Estimated Time: 2-4 Hours
    • Difficulty: Advanced